ASA Resident Challenge 2016

image Name: Drs Shane Cherry, Chad Parvus-Teichmann and Ricky Bowser

Event: ASA Residents Challenge

Amount raised: $7,360

For the second year in a row the incredible University of Miami residents took the top spot in The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)‘s Annual National Lifebox Challenge – a yearly chance for anaesthesia residency programmes across the country to go head to head raising funds for Lifebox.

In 2015 colleagues at the University of Miami contributed $4,327 across their 88 residents, and this year they’ve nearly doubled that total raising $7,360 to support our lifesaving work.

We recently caught up with the three residents that lead the University of Miami’s fundraising efforts – Drs Shane Cherry, Ricky Bowser and Chad Parvus-Teichmann (who’ll also be delivering one of our Masterclass sessions at the ASA Annual Meeting starting this weekend in Chicago) and this is what we learned.

Your program has won the Residents Challenge for the second time in a row. How did you maintain momentum the second year?

Shane Cherry (CA-3): We are extremely proud of our program to have won the competition for the second year in a row, but even more proud that we are making such an impact on global health. Each Lifebox impacts an estimated 780 patients per year, so our program’s efforts alone will reach more than 22,000 patients annually.  We have set up a system for sustained success by enrolling a motivated resident from each class as the designated Lifebox Representative, such that we have a method for continuity as we transition from year-to-year. This three person committee works as a team, splitting up the work and taking advantage of each person’s unique talents to ensure we maximize our results.  We have created multiple mechanisms to generate contributions, including the creation of our own online store to purchase UM Anesthesia Lifebox gear! Most importantly, our department – especially our Chair Dr. David Lubarsky and Program Director Dr. Shawn Banks – recognizes the value and impact of the Lifebox Foundation and does everything in its power to support our efforts.

What is it about Lifebox that resonates with you and your peers? 

Ricky Bowser (CA-1): As residents we face a multitude of subjective information and practices that make decision making more difficult. The more objective data we have, the less room there is for misinterpretation. Knowing this, we see Lifebox not only as a fundraiser but as a duty to help others who practice anesthesiology to have more objective data to make better and safer decisions perioperatively.

Can you imagine working in the OR without a pulse oximeter?    

Ricky Bowser (CA-1): I could not imagine not having this vital tool as I believe it is an essential part of an anesthesiologist’s vigilance.  As a CA-1 in the operating room for four months, I have become used to the beat-by-beat harmony that the pulse oximeter gives. It’s such an essential tool that provides a vast amount of information from distal extremity perfusion, heart rate and oxygen saturation.  The pulse oximeter has allowed me to become more accustomed to the acoustics of the operating room and tune in/out essential sounds.

How do you see global anesthesia playing a part in your future career?

Chad Parvus-Teichmann (CA-2): As someone from a developing country myself, I have always had a desire to work internationally. I relish the idea both to bring cutting-edge knowledge and treatment to resource-poor areas and, in turn, to learn from our overseas colleagues who manage to provide life-saving care without many of the tools we take for granted. Almost 10 years ago I started a clinic in Haiti with my father (an EM physician) and our ongoing work there continues to humble and enlighten me. Our clinic has grown to provide fantastic primary care, women’s health services and community education and empowerment; however like the majority of global health projects, surgical interventions are limited or non-existent. As Paul Farmer once said, “Surgery is the neglected stepchild of global health.” I believe through projects like Lifebox, access to safe surgery can become a reality for millions across the developing world. I plan to not only continue my involvement with Lifebox in the future, but also to work with like-minded colleagues to help continue the evolution of global anesthesia into a critical component of global health.

Do you think you’re in with a fighting chance for the Challenge 2017?!

Chad Parvus-Teichmann (CA-1): Next year will be my third and final year involved in the resident challenge, so you better believe I’m fired up to ensure our program secures a hat trick! Truthfully, though, it’s a team effort, from our resident committee who devised creative ways to encourage donations, raise funds, and engage our colleagues, all the way to the top, where we have incredible support from our department chair, program director, and faculty members across the spectrum. Our program prides itself in supporting its residents and demonstrating leadership through important projects like the Lifebox Challenge; with the immense spirit and generosity everyone at the University of Miami has shown these past 2 years, I’m confident that 2017 will be another banner year for our program, for Lifebox, and most importantly, for the patients who will finally have access to safe surgery.